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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Aug 1st, '18, 03:33 
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Has anyone built an external standpipe for their fish tanks?

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Aug 2nd, '18, 01:03 
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I have not yet, but I am debating about it for my second AP system outside the greenhouse. I am debating if I should just use the existing drains in the tanks or if I should still drill holes and install SLO's. The existing drains are a but leaky... I could probably just silicone them shut and be OK... if I use the existing drains then I would do external standpipes to set the water level where it couldn't drain the tanks. But then I have to figure out what to put on the inside of the tank to keep small fish from going for a ride too... so might just go back to the SLO's.

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Aug 5th, '18, 04:24 
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Ah yes the horrible question what should I do.
Went shopping for some fittings the other day. 4" PVC fittings are not cheap at all. Horribly expensive! Soon will change some of my 2" plumbing to 4".

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Aug 20th, '18, 18:50 
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The aquaponics tanks are coming together slowly. I need to take some pictures of the building stage! Been too busy for that. Also redoing the plumbing on the fish tanks so that is starting to look really good. The external standpipes look good. I think going from 2" to 4" is going to make a big difference which is what I want to see. With the stand pipes and larger plumbing it should stop the weird flows and uneven draining. One of the weird flow rates I had, water would all of a sudden drain out of 5 tanks but not the 6th tank. The tank it would not drain out of was one that was close to the pump and usually would have the water just sucked right out of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Nov 27th, '18, 09:37 
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Got my new batch of eggs a week ago and they are starting to hatch! Got some lettuce, kale, and pak choi started. Also have some peppermint started and going to start some some chocolate mint to.

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Nov 27th, '18, 21:06 
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Crackenfish Hatchery! That is too cool!
Brian

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Specs: 2600 gallon (347.56cf) Masonry fish pond. 44cf GBs. 200 gal (26.7cf) ST. 15 gal (2cf) RFF. 50 gal (6.7cf) biofilter. Brook trout and Comets.


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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Nov 28th, '18, 06:05 
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Thanks! It is lots of fun and also lots of work.

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Nov 30th, '18, 00:15 
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Eggs are all hatched now. Another couple weeks before I can start feeding the little guys. My plants are growing rather slow so I am behind with them. Hopefully with the fish water and getting things a little warmer will help. My masonry heater is going and making lots of charcoal to be turned into biochar, growing medium and filtration.

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Jan 7th, '19, 21:24 
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Fish are growing like weeds but unfortunately the plants have been a little slow to grow due to the cold temperatures. Got some salanova lettuce and three varieties of pak choi growing. Arugula didn't do well at all and died. Might try them again. Have 4 Siberian kale growing so will be interesting how they do.

I nearly have the newest fish tank system up and running. About time as the fish need to be moved into them this week. I upgraded plumbing sizes and built to new filter tanks that sit on top of the biofilters. The filter tanks are the deep water culture troughs. All that needs to be done is add aeration and plumb the pump and solids filter back in place.

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Apr 4th, '19, 21:30 
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I need to get to the computer and put up some pictures.

The fish have been growing well. Still some issues with filtration and aeration that need to be worked out. The biochar experiment seems to be working so that is good. If there is interest I will give more details on it.

Plants are finally starting to take off. I think things were too cold in the middle of winter so their growth slowed down. The pak Choi do not look correct according to all the pictures and videos I have seen. They immediately bolted. Anyone have experience with this? And same thing with watercress. Maybe grow lights caused it? Might need some figuring out how the commercial growers of watercress grow their cress.

Tips on watercress are welcome!

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Apr 5th, '19, 21:16 
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crackenfish wrote:
I need to get to the computer and put up some pictures.

The fish have been growing well. Still some issues with filtration and aeration that need to be worked out. The biochar experiment seems to be working so that is good. If there is interest I will give more details on it.

Plants are finally starting to take off. I think things were too cold in the middle of winter so their growth slowed down. The pak Choi do not look correct according to all the pictures and videos I have seen. They immediately bolted. Anyone have experience with this? And same thing with watercress. Maybe grow lights caused it? Might need some figuring out how the commercial growers of watercress grow their cress.

Tips on watercress are welcome!

"The biochar experiment seems to be working so that is good. If there is interest I will give more details on it." Heck yeah I'm very interested. I hope to start a biochar system this season. Even down here in northern New Mexico the plants slow down. The greenhouse stays fairly warm and bright, but that water get really cold which of course the trout love, but it stunts the plants. The plants in dirt in the greenhouse do better in the Winter, I assume this is because the roots are warmer. I can't seem to kill the tomatoes. Some are three years old and still fruiting in the cold (55F 12.5C) water. Kale looks better (greener) now that most of the trout have been harvested and the water chemistry is back to normal. Possibly this Summer I'll get the extension to the greenhouse built and be able to triple the media bed volume, because wow, ninety plate sized trout came from our system last season. That is ideal for us and everything we hoped for from a ten thousand liter fish tank.
Best regards, Brian

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Apr 5th, '19, 21:52 
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So researching on biochar in aquaponic situation gave lots of conflicting reports. Some where saying don’t use it will suck all the nutrients out! Others were saying it is fine to use. Then some universities are studying using biochar as a grow media! From what I could find and understand, biochar would chemically absorb ammonia and also house bacteria like traditional filter media. Now when ammonia levels drop in the water the bacteria would then go for the ammonia in the char. So the purpose is twofold. Absorb excess ammonia so it doesn’t harm fish, but when there is a drop in ammonia there wouldn’t be an drop in bacteria population. The reason I looked at biochar was that I needed about 3 cubic meters of k1 media but don’t have the funds for it. I could make biochar a lot cheaper.

I made the biochar with peas as the main feedstock. The original plan was to use it as a MBBR filter but peas still clog drain screens. And after time will sink. So I put it in filter bags and have the bags in the water.

I don’t have as many bags as I would like or as much char but I haven’t had any ammonia/nitrite issues in the 6 tank system. Only main issues I have had with this system is sand filter isn’t filtering as good as it should so get a lot more particulate matter than desired in the water. Other issue with the bags that I have are the bags are 75 micron mesh!
As to how I made the char? My brother had built a can that is about 6 inches in diameter and about 18 inches long with a loosely fitting lid. The can gets placed in the masonry heater and cooks off a load while I heat the fish building.

I started using some last year in my two tank system. That system has two settling barrels, with pump in second settling barrel. The water then gets pumped to half a tote that is sitting on top of a full tote. The water gets pumped into a 5 gallon bucket with char to polish the water, which sits in the half tote. The half tote also acts as a dwc. This system has some of the cleanest water out of the whole facility and consistently has faster growing fish. There are a few differences with the other two tote system as the other system doesn’t have the half tote extra of water or the biochar filtering.

The biochar will get taken out once the fish are gone and put in the garden. The char in the two tank system maybe gets changed once a month but if I had the char volume I would probably change weekly. Some have said that no need to change out char just rinse and repeat but I like changing because it is a lot less work and easier to replace and I end up with charged char ready for the garden!

Hope that answers your question Boss. If you have anymore ask away.

Crackenfish

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Apr 9th, '19, 19:05 
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Yes that answered my questions. Thank you so much. I haven't read anywhere near as much as you on biochar; watched several Youtube videos is all. What I gathered from the garden and farm usage of biochar is whatever you use for inoculation of the char it works best in warm weather. The weather down here is getting more swings in it and that made me wonder if I could even get biochar started outdoors. So I was wondering how the cold water in out Trout habitats affects the biomedia. Uninoculated charcoal is used in tropical fish Aquarium filters to polish the water and remove pathogens although I'm sure it gets inoculated over time, but I don't believe that is the same function as biochar, or of course I could be totally wrong. This use of charcoal in aquariums may be where the confusions comes from. This is the conundrum I've had with my system: Keeping the K2 alive and growing when the water finally gets down to temperatures the trout prosper in. It sounds like I worry too much because obviously biochar is working fantastic for your trout system. Your explanation has done us a great service Crakenfish thank you.
Brian

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Apr 12th, '19, 02:35 
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we had some Pak Choi we planted in dirt beds in the garden at the end of fall last year just seeing if we could get it up in size before winter... well stuff happened and I either forgot about it, didn't have time, or it didn't grow... I don't really remember... then in the middle of winter we went out there and there had been several inches of snow that melted and through the frozen bed is this beautiful pak choi plant. That stuff seemed like it loved the cold... it stayed alive almost the entire winter with no protection, no plastic over the beds... so it was getting snowed on and then the snow melts and it would grow... it wasn't until we had a week near -20F (-40F windchill) that it finally died.

So I don't think it's the cold... it might be the water though... my pak choi in AP does seem like it gets leggy really fast... probably too much nitrogen and not enough something else to keep up if I were to take a wild guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Crackenfish system
PostPosted: Apr 12th, '19, 20:45 
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Thanks rininger! I thought pak Choi was cold weather plants. But the high nitrogen in the water makes sense! I unfortunately don’t have room to add more grow bed. Wonder what else would thrive in these conditions and take up lots of nitrogen? It is probably the same reason the water cress is lots of stalk but not a lot of leaf. Not like what I have seen on YouTube.

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